Central Region Chapter

FIDF Central Region, established in 1981, is based in Chicago and incorporates the larger Midwest community.  Engaging special events and vibrant year-round programming hosting Israel’s brave soldiers are integral to the Region’s activities.  Also fundamental to FIDF Central Region are its affinity groups — Women’s Brigade, Young Leadership and the burgeoning Real Estate, Law, Finance and Physicians Battalions.

The Central Region’s generous donors support the wellbeing of Israel’s soldiers by focusing on a variety of programs: Capital Projects and Dedications, Adopt A Battalion, DIGNITY, LEGACY, and the most successful program, IMPACT!, which was initiated in the Central Region in 2001 and currently supports more than 900 scholarships.

Please contact the FIDF office to get more involved with or learn more about the Central Region’s programs and events, join the mailing list, become a host or make a donation.

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Central Region | Chicago, IL | 312-372-8500 | chicago@FIDF.org

Central Region Upcoming Events

LatkePalooza_2014FIDF Central Region is excited to sponsor LATKEPALOOZA 2014!

This event will take place on December 24, 2014 at The Underground. 
Come join FIDF and celebrate! 
Register at www.latkepalooza.com.

- Central Region Event Calendar -

Articles & Past Events


Michigan Chapter hosted its 18th Annual Gala

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Michigan Chapter’s Annual Gala Dinner raised more than $1 million for wellbeing programs for the brave men and women of the IDF. More than 850 FIDF supporters from across the state gathered at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Walled Lake for the Gala, which honored Enid and Gary Goodman, and Teri and Mark Goodman. 

Mark and Gary have traveled to Israel with FIDF missions and have seen first-hand how Israeli soldiers work tirelessly to protect the Jewish homeland and its people. They take great pride in being Jewish and supporting the local Jewish community, as well as the State of Israel.

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Women's Brigade 2014
In wake of Gaza Operation,
FIDF Supporters from Chicago 
Honor and Support IDF Soldiers

Oct. 30, Chicago – Close to 1,000 prominent lay leaders and supporters of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) from the Chicago area raised $2 million last night at their annual event in support of wellbeing and educational programs for the men and women of the IDF.

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Women's Brigade 2014
Chicago Womens’s Brigade Annual Benefit For the IDF

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Central Region Women’s Brigade hosted the Women’s Brigade Annual Benefit on June 24, where over 130 women from around the Chicago land area gathered to raise $65,000 for the FIDF LEGACY Program. The FIDF LEGACY Program benefits families of fallen IDF soldiers. The event hosted IDF Wounded Veteran Ron Weinreich, and featured a silent auction...

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Evanston businessman organizes aid to Israeli soldiers

Richard Sincere has traveled regularly to Israel since studying in Tel Aviv in the early ’70s, but it was one excursion in particular that left a lasting impact on the Evanston resident and businessman.
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$212,000 was raised at the Friends of the IDF (FIDF) Palm Springs Benefit for Israel’s soldiers on February 26, 2014 at the Tamarisk Country Club in Rancho Mirage, CA. More than 100 FIDF supporters gathered at the event, where they had the opportunity to meet and hear from keynote speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich, Head of the Interactive Media Branch at the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
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FIDF Central Region hosted 44 legacy children

Earlier this month, the FIDF Central Region hosted 44 children of fallen IDF soldiers for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah trip of a lifetime. Through the LEGACY program, these children are able to enjoy a two week summer camp in the US alongside peers who have shared similar experiences.
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Friends of the IDF Chicago Women’s Brigade Raised $60,000 for Children of Fallen Israeli Soldiers

Chicago, IL, July 2, 2013 – Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) Central Region Women’s Brigade hosted ‘Ladies Night Out,’ on June 26th, at the Art Center of Highland Park in Highland Park, IL, where over 100 women from around the Chicagoland area gathered to raise money for the FIDF LEGACY Program. The program benefits families of fallen IDF soldiers. Over $60,000 was raised at the event, which included a fashion show by the well-known boutique on Chicago’s North Shore, Frances Heffernan. Read More


Israel’s Vice Prime Minister Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Moshe Ya’alon attends FIDF Annual Dinner in Chicago with IDF soldiers

Israel’s Vice Prime Minister and Former IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Moshe Ya’alon, was the keynote speaker at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Central Region Annual Dinner that took place Monday, October 29th, at the Hilton Chicago.
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1.6 Million Raised at FIDF Central Region Event With Former Israel Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni

On Sunday, August 5, 2012 more than 175 attendees helped raise $1.6M in support of Israel’s soldiers at the 2012 FIDF Summer Benefit for Israel’s Soldiers hosted by Liora and Jerry Mizel.
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Central Region Welcomes the 2012 LEGACY Program 

On Wednesday, July 11, 2012, the Central Region’s LEGACY Program welcomed 41 campers and 11 counselors from Israel. Campers and counselors were greeted at the home of Kim and Adi Mor and were treated to some snacks after their long journey.
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FIDF Central Region Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration

Friends of the IDF, Central Region held its inaugural celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut on Wednesday, May 3rd at Moriah Congregation in Deerfield. Steve Blonder of Much Shelist and a member of the Central Region Board of Directors chaired the event which featured special guests IMPACT! graduate Alona Poupesheva and Israeli media personality Yishai Fleisher.
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FIDF Central Region’s Real Estate and Finance Battalions Host 2nd Annual March Madness Event

On March 20th, the Central Region chapter’s Real Estate and Finance Battalions hosted their 2nd annual March Madness Networking Event at Bull & Bear Bar in downtown Chicago.
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FIDF Central Region Hosts 3rd Annual Palm Springs Event

On February 22nd, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) hosted its 3rd annual community event in Palm Springs, CA for many of Chicago’s snow-birds.
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View older articles & events

Executive Board Members

Daniel J. Hyman - Chairman
Thomas Kane - President
Rob Selati - Vice President
Nancy Babendir - Secretary/Treasurer
Andrew Goodman
Lori Komisar
Benjamin Leshem
Jorde Nathan


Board Members

Michael Balkin
Robert Bernat
Craig Bernfield
Steven Blonder
Craig Bondy
Al Brody
Douglas Cohen
Lance Cutler
Medwin Dayan
Oren Dekalo
Dan Drexler
Steven Dry
Sig Feiger
Michael Fishman
Albert  Frank
Fred Friedman
Manuel Gliksberg
Michael Goldberg
Ari Golson
Robert Harris
Steven Hefter
Larry Hochberg
Adam Hoeflich
David Israel
Eric Jaffee
Donald Kirk
Larry Kugler
Dennis Lapidus
Michael Lavin
Hezi Levy

Israel Levi
Jonathan Markowitz
Gerald Mizel
Liora Mizel
Jennifer Newman
Louis Paster
Robert Polak
James Resnick
Joseph Resnick
Michael Rosenberg
Barry Rosenthal
Saul Rudo
Loren Schechter
Cary Schiff
Gregg Schneider
Mark Schneider
Edward Schwartz
Glenn Seiden
Richard Sheiner
Morris  Silverman
Richard Sincere
Ronald Sirt
Daniel  Stern
Noga Villalon
Gerald Weiner
Laurence Weiner
Al Winick
Joseph Wolf
Arie Zweig


Board of Trustees

Caryn Rosen Adelman
Melvin Berlin
Lawrence Glick
Buz Hoffman
Andy Lappin
Eugene Lerner

Annette Lidawer
Adi Mor
Jeanne Randall Malkin
Leslie Richman
Maurice Sanderman
Edward Zale


"While Israel's unyielding soldiers were risking their lives defending Israel, a land that is physically and symbolically irreplaceable, I was fortunate enough to be studying for midterms. Helping to ensure the comfort and well-being of these young heroes through the FIDF is the least I can do to say 'Thank You'."

- Adam Levy, Young Leadership Past President


"On my first FIDF mission, my true dedication to Israel was formed. I visited several Army bases, met several military officers and hundreds of wonderful, brave, and beautiful Israeli soldiers. I spent many hours in awe, in conversation, in study with these new friends, trying to grasp the true meaning of the need for the preservation of Israel for all of the Jewish people. By the end of this visit, I understood. I knew that I got it. As a result of that experience with the FIDF, my life changed forever .Since then, I do what I can to help the Israeli soldier, not as a charity, but as a passion."

- Mickey Sanderman, Central Region, Chairman Emeritus


"My involvement with FIDFand Womens Brigade comes from visiting Israel for the first time in 2006 a few days prior to the War in Lebanon.I was dumbstruck to learn of the soldiers training and commitment and was immensely impressed with their leadership and innovative technology. I had to get involved and show my appreciation in some way."

- Sari Klein, Women’s Brigade Past Co-Chair


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